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Track Changes

What happens when software eats the world? Industry veterans Paul Ford and Rich Ziade chat with their friends about technology, design, and business from a distinctly East Coast point of view. Decades of experience inform their no-BS, quick-witted patter about what digital transformation really means. Created by Postlight, the digital product studio they co-founded in NYC.
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Track Changes
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Mar 31, 2020

Specify like a caveman: This week on Track Changes, Paul and Rich are joined by Gina Trapani, a managing partner at Postlight, to talk about statements of work (SOWs). We chat about Postlight’s unique SOW process. We talk about why we base our approach on trust and relationships rather than just time and money. We also talk about managing risk, what to do when someone oversteps their original demands and Paul gives some tips on how to make the SOW writing process easier. Hint: write like a caveman. 

Links: 

Gina Trapani 

React Native 

Org Mode 

Google Analytics

Facebook

Twitter

Github 

LinkedIn 

Mar 24, 2020

Craft and Quality: This week on Track Changes, Paul and Rich chat with Vice President of Partnerships and Community at InVision, Mike Davidson. We chat about everything from tomato seeds, to shower heads to how to lead a remote team and the ups and downs of remote work. Mike shows us that the one thing these all have in common is they can help simplify your life to help you dig deeper into the things you love. 

Links: 

Typescript 

Sketch 

Figma 

Mike Davidson

InVision 

Twitter 

NBC News 

Newsvine 

ESPN

Clark Valberg - InVision 

Whole Foods

Slate Magazine 

This Is the Perfect Tomato - Slate 

Klee Lab Research - University of Florida 

Kohler FlipSide Showerhead 

Wirecutter 

Dribbble 

SimpleBits 

Educated by Tara Westover 

Duane Reade 

Screen Time 

Cold Turkey App 

Slack 

Mac MultiFinder

OmmWriter 

Roberta’s Pizza Dough - New York Times 

Li Ziqi - Youtube 

BKLYN Larder 

Mike Davidson Twitter

 

Mar 17, 2020

Work from home: This week on Track Changes, Paul and Rich chat with Postlight’s head of engineering Jeremy Mack about ways to improve your remote work setup. From basic tips like getting dressed in the morning and using wired headphones to tips on how to navigate remote meetings, Jeremy shares the best practices he’s developed after 6 years of working remotely. He also gives us some examples of non-verbal cues to show others that you’re busy and ways to unwind after a day working from home. 

Links: 

Jeremy Mack - Twitter 

IFTTT

Google Apps 

Shush

Google Meet 

Zoom 

AirPods 

Rust Programming Language

Apple TV Screensavers 

Slow TV - Bustle 

What You Need to Know About Treadmill Desks - Forbes 

 

Mar 10, 2020

Big thoughts: This week on Track Changes, Paul and Rich sit down to discuss how branding impacts product design. We chat about how branding is critical when designing products, and how helpful it is when the brand comes first. Of course, that’s not always the case. We talk about the challenges of developing brand and product simultaneously and ways to deal with the complexities that come with this type of agile development. 

Nike 

Craftsman 

Ford F-150  

Michael Bierut 

Jessica Helfand - Twitter 

A Conversation with Michael Bierut and Jessica Helfand, Part 1 

A Conversation with Michael Bierut and Jessica Helfand, Part 2 

Pentagram 

Wordpress 

National Geographic 

Vogue 

Economist 

Adam Smith 

IRS

Asana 

Monday.com

Basecamp 

Infospace 

Salesforce 

Peppa Pig 

Do the Brand First - Paul Ford 

Careers at Postlight 

Postlight

Mar 3, 2020

There’s no secret knowledge: This week on Track Changes, Paul and Rich are joined by Postlight managing partner Gina Trapani to do a follow up on our previous episode about intranets. Gina explains why she was annoyed that we didn't know we had an intranet. From there we discuss why management and employees often need different tools and talk about what makes a good leader. Protip: a good leader is someone who knows how to limit stress, not spread it.

 

Links: 

Gina Trapani 

The Private Network: Paul and Rich on Intranets 

Basecamp 

Slack 

Google Drive 

Clockwise 

Paper 

Away 

Warby Parker 

Emotional Baggage - The Verge 

The Verge 

Gawker 

Lifehacker 

Postlight - Twitter 

Feb 18, 2020

People want to be heard: This week on Track Changes, Paul and Rich bring on their design team to talk about The Design Elephants -- Poslight’s quarterly event dedicated to tackling difficult issues within design. From there we go onto discuss one of the main ways agencies find their clients, the RFP. Paul and Rich share their thoughts on the process as a whole and how they prefer a more genuine and empathetic approach to sales. 

Links

Eventbrite - The Design Elephants

Aimée Reed - website

Nora Vanni - website

Nora Vanni - Twitter

Pendo

Feb 11, 2020

Keep it simple: There are a million different to-do apps, what makes one stand out? This week on Track Changes Paul and Rich chat with Doist founder Amir Salihefendic. He tells us about how he grew Todoist from a side project he would work on in his dorm room to an app that now reaches 20 million people. He also tells us about his struggle with venture capitalists and about the importance of persistence and simplicity. 

Links: 

Hello, World! - Wikipedia 

Todoist 

Amir Salihefendic - Twitter 

Wunderlist 

Any.do 

Lifehacker 

Digg 

Plurk 

Subtraction Blog 

Doist 

Twist 

Instagram 

Vim

Bear 

Slack 

Dropbox 

Zoom 

Superhuman 

Dash for Slack

Feb 4, 2020

Action Items: On this week’s episode of Track Changes Paul and Rich sit down and share their top 5 tools that keep them productive. We chat about our favorite to-do apps, calorie counting apps and about apps that will make your meetings more productive. From simple tools to complex tools, we share our secrets for staying sane and productive at work. 

Whimsical 

OmniGraffle 

Visio 

Navigator 

Bloomberg - What is Code? by Paul Ford 

Basecamp 

Emacs Org mode 

FatSecret 

CalorieKing 

Google Fit 

Todoist 

Tinysheet by Postlight

Python 4

 

Jan 28, 2020

Control your data: This week on Track Changes Paul and Rich sit down to chat about storage and subscriptions. We talk about Paul’s new network attached storage setup and why we consider it to be the third wave of computing. We also talk about ongoing and annoying online software subscriptions and Rich gives us some good tips on how to remember to cancel those subscriptions before your free months run out.

Links: 

Basecamp 

SeaGate Ironwolf Pro 

QNap Thunderbolt 4 drive Nas 

CommonCrawl 

Flickr 

Google Take-out 

OneDrive 

SiteCore 

Pi-hole 

Spotify 

Typing Club 

Stripe 

Truebill 

Trim 

SubscriptMe 

Bobby

Subby 

TrackMySubs 

Mint

Plaid 

Yodlee 

Abacus



Jan 21, 2020

Tools to manage your tools: This week on Track Changes Paul and Rich discuss the best way to keep track of company communications and tools. Our verdict, an Intranet. We lay out what an Intranet actually is, what it should and could look like and why it’s so important in an age of using too many apps at once. We also make a pact to build a functional intranet in the next six months. Wish us luck! 

 

Trello 

Basecamp 

Github 

TriNet 

Pingboard 

Slack 

Abacus 

Airtable 

Dropbox Paper 

Whimsical 

Jira 

Pipedrive 

Greenhouse 

Dash for Slack 

Google Drive 

Zapier 

Chartbeat 

Adobe After Effects 

Sketch 

Apple Numbers 



Jan 14, 2020

Still in reactive mode: On this week’s episode of Track Changes we continue off from last week to talk about broad trends in information technology in 2020. This week we dig into the more unsettling trends, like foreign interference in elections, a need for better and more proactive laws that govern internet use and cloud service confusion. We also chat about the return of bundled content creation and break down an unprecedented year in information technology. 

Ivanka Trump’s Appearance at CES Tech Show Draws Criticism - Time 

CES 2020

The Libertarian Logic of Peter Thiel - Wired 

Google Cloud 

HP Cloud - Wikipedia 

Tata Communications - Cloud Solutions 

Hulu 

Netflix 

Disney+ 

Roku 

Apple TV

Jan 7, 2020

The year to come: On this week’s episode of Track Changes, Paul and Rich sit down to discuss some of the top trends to look for in 2020. From codeless platforms to Product Led Growth we chat about some of the biggest trends in tech right now. We share our thoughts on new products and discuss whether some of these trends should actually be trends. We also talk about the craziness that could be 2020. 

Gina Trepani 

Lifehacker 

Jobs to be Done 

Hasura 

GraphQL 

PostGraphile 

MySQL

PostgreSQL

Elixir 

Erlang

Ruby 

Yap.Chat 

Firefox

Pi-hole 

Gatsby 

AWS 

Netlify 

Notion 

Airtable 

Filemaker

Glitch 

Salesforce 

Dec 17, 2019

Friction is introspection: How did the iPhone come to feel like an intuitive thing to use? This week on Track Changes Paul and Rich sit down with UX designer Cliff Kuang and co-founder of Dalberg Design Robert Fabricant to talk about their new book User Friendly: How the hidden rules of design are changing the way we live, work and play. We discuss the history of the concept and how it’s become something that we demand yet often take for granted. We also chat about the greater paradigm shift that led to the popularity of user experience design and about why we should maybe start to question the view that ease equals progress. 

Links:

User Friendly - Penguin Books 

Dalberg Design 

Frog Design

Paul Rand - Wikipedia 

Carbon Design System 

Plex - Google Fonts 

Three Mile Island 

Raymond Loewy - Wikipedia  

Ideo 

Marvin Minski - Wikipedia

Doug Englebart - Wikipedia 

Health Kit - Apple 

The Softbank Effect: How 100 Billion Left Workers in a Hole - New York Times 

Softbank

Dec 10, 2019

Catering to the masses: On this week’s episode of Track Changes, Paul and Rich sit down to discuss the mess that is app stores. We chat about how the race to produce more and more content and why trying to cater to as wide an audience as possible is making for frustrating user experience. We also discuss our dreams of getting rid of in-app micro-purchases and the need for better app reviews. 

Links: 

Apple Arcade 

Google Play Pass

Monument Valley 

Cut the Rope 

Netflix 

The Verge 

iCloud 

Apple TV 

Pages 

Numbers 

The Morning Show 

Candy Crush 

Nintendo Life 

Death Stranding 

The Wirecutter 

Sago Mini 

Khan Academy Kids

Dec 3, 2019

Answer the question: On this week's episode of Track Changes, Paul and Rich share some interview advice they've learned after conducting hundreds of job interviews. We give some straight-forward tips on what to do in job interviews. We chat about the importance of listening, keeping your answers concise and being able to have a conversation with your interviewer. We also talk about what you shouldn’t do. For starters, don’t act like you don’t want the job.

Links: 

Careers at Postlight

Nov 26, 2019

Facilitating a digital mindset: On this week’s episode of Track Changes, Paul and Rich sit down to chat about the current job description for the Chief Digital Officer at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. We go over the demands of the job and talk about the many complexities that come with being a CDO at such a large and political organization. We also talk about why it can be difficult joining a new organization and why you might have to accept that people will hate you for a while. Sadly it’s part of the job sometimes.

Links: 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Job Posting for Met CDO - LinkedIn

Met Gala 2020 - Vogue 

Ralph Lauren Documentary - HBO 

 

Nov 19, 2019

Accountability is friction: On this week’s episode of Track Changes Paul and Rich sit down to chat about different types of accountability software. Whether it’s a CRM, a to-do list or an app, we discuss what works best for staying on track and getting things done. We talk about the importance of empathy and support and why tactics based on fear never work in the long run. We also discuss why some software is moving away from adding accountability into its workflows despite it’s importance. 

 

Links: 

Sony Aibo 

Clippy 

Pipedrive 

Dash for Slack 

Postlight Labs 

Mirror 

Peloton 

Mother by The Police 

Sydney Cummings - Youtube

Nov 5, 2019

Software is like people: On this week’s episode of Track Changes, Paul and Rich sit down to discuss software baggage. We chat about how a simple software idea can morph into layers and layers of product features and about how implementing use-cases can lead to confusing and bloated software. We also share our many HR software gripes.   

 

Links: 

Recruitment Software Market Size, Share and Industry Analysis - Fortune Business Insights 

Scala 

JQuery

Jira 

SAP 

Basecamp 

Slack 

Dash for Slack - Postlight  

Oct 29, 2019

Removing Friction: On this week’s episode of Track Changes, Paul and Rich sit down with Noah Brier and James Gross ahead of a Postlight event to talk about the new trend that is taking enterprise software by storm, product-led growth. We discuss why the shift to PLG is as big as a transition for enterprise as the switch from on-premise to cloud software and how this move to more user-centric products removes friction from all levels of product implementation. 

Links: 

 

 

Oct 22, 2019

Listen, don’t tell: Having trouble convincing your boss to invest in new software? On this week’s episode of Track Changes, Paul and Rich teach you everything you need to know about selling software services. We chat about changing the narrative to be about selling growth instead of products, and give some great sales tactics. Paul also shares some interesting car purchasing tips he learned from his brother. 

Links: 

Sarbanes Oxley - Wikipedia 

Chevy Blazer 

CarMax 

Google Analytics 

J.P. Morgan 

Amnesty International 

Node

Oct 15, 2019

Adjust the quirks: On this week’s episode of Track Changes we ask the question, “is programming becoming obsolete?”. As user-friendly visual interfaces continue to get more and more popular, we discuss why programming remains so important to tackle complex tasks and long-term software challenges. Paul and Rich also come up with a new, nicer, way to talk about bugs. In this week’s Hello Postlight segment, we hear from product manager Jorge Mir Alvarez, who tells us how he went from a Track Changes listener to a Postlight employee.

Oct 8, 2019

Constant tweaking and improving: This week on Track Changes we are joined by friend and tech writer Clive Thompson, to talk about his most recent book Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World. We chat about coder culture, its influence on society, and why the search for efficiency can sometimes be a double-edged sword. Paul and Rich also share their worst bug stories. 

Links: 

Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World 

Shift Magazine

This Magazine 

The Nation

Code for America 

Kickstarter

Tilde Club

Oct 1, 2019

Beware the low-hanging fruit: On this week’s episode of Track Changes, Paul and Rich share some industry warning signs. We chat about why you should be wary of long research phases and of people who have total faith in the product funnel. We also share some tips on how you can tell if your deadline is slipping and chat about the importance of long term product thinking. In this week’s Hello Postlight segment we meet Stephen Koch, a lead engineer who joins us to talk about his transition from marine biologist to musician to computer engineer.  

Links: 

GraphQL 

Big Spaceship Agency 

Frog Design

McKinsey 

Letter of Recommendation: Bug Fixes by Paul Ford 

Amazon

Dropbox 

Sketch

Adobe 

Athletic Brewing Company

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